The thirteen-spired chedi Ajaan Lee mentioned in his plan for the Festival Celebrating 25 centuries of Buddhism was never built during his lifetime. Shortly after the festival, his followers—fearing that he would leave the Bangkok area and return to the forest once the chedi was finished—insisted that Wat Asokaram needed an ordination hall before it needed a chedi, and so arranged to have that built first. After the ordination hall was completed in May 1960, Ajaan Lee held a meeting with some of his major supporters to discuss plans for the chedi, but again they found reasons for not going ahead with the project.

Meanwhile, Ajaan Lee’s health worsened. After the end of the rainy season he returned to Somdet Phra Pin Klao Hospital, but realizing that the doctors would not be able to cure his illness, arranged for his release from the hospital in early April, 1961. Soon afterwards, on the night of April 25-26, he passed away in his hut at Wat Asokaram. The doctors’ verdict: a heart attack.

When the initial funeral services were over, his followers decided to delay the cremation until after they had finished the chedi as their final gift to his memory—much like the story of Khru Ba Sri Wichai that Ajaan Lee mentioned toward the end of his autobiography. However, after the chedi was finished in 1965, a poll of Ajaan Lee’s followers revealed that the vast majority did not want to see him cremated at all, so ever since then his body has been kept at Wat Asokaram, where it is now enshrined in a large and lavishly designed sanctuary finished in 1987. More recently, the chedi was found to have serious structural defects, so it was torn down and replaced by a new chedi of similar design completed in 2009.